Trellis Fund Recipient - April 2017
Pete Nelson, PhD student in Entomology at N.C. State was selected by the Horticulture Innovation Lab for a Trellis Fund project in Kenya. Nelson spent March and April 2017 in Kenya, where he worked with the Kenyan Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), which is similar to APHIS here in the U.S. When asked about his work in Kenya, Nelson replied,
“While in Kenya I was educating farmers about two invasive pests that are relatively new to the country. The first, Tuta absoluta, is a moth originally from South America that infests tomato leaves and fruit and can destroy entire crops. Potato cyst nematodes are microscopic worms that infest potato roots and dramatically reduce yields. Both pests are widely distributed in Kenya and are major concerns to tomato and potato farmers. Prior to arriving in Kenya, I developed educational materials including pamphlets and factsheets about both pests. While I was in Kenya I interacted with farmers, distributing the educational materials, giving presentations about the pests to raise awareness and discuss potential control methods, and conducting surveys to assess the impact of either pest on farmers.”
Reflecting on the success of this project, Nelson said,
“Through our efforts we were able interact with and share information with many farmers. Evaluations after training programs and interviews with farmers indicated that the information was useful and well received. KEPHIS is continuing to monitor the impact of our efforts by assessing management approaches utilized by farmers to control the pests and the resulting change in farmer income. Thus, the success of this project is evaluated on multiple scales and is on-going.”
Nelson’s project positively impacted the people of Kenya and himself. “While the main value was providing information about the pests and potential management tactics, interactions with the farmers gave me a strong sense that our efforts were inspiring them to continue efforts made in managing these destructive pests that threatened their livelihood. I learned a great deal from participating in this project, but the most valuable lesson was definitely in communication. Although English is one of the national languages of Kenya, there were still obstacles in relaying concepts to the scientists I was working with and the farmers I trained. I really learned the value of effective communication, and the organization that arranged the project (Trellis) provided me with great resources to ensure my message was clear and impactful.”
Nelson left a word of advice for other university students:
“I strongly suggest all students participate in some form of international experience, whether it be outreach and extension based like my own or not. Interacting with both the farmers and the KEPHIS staff was an enlightening experience and definitely broadened my perspective. I would encourage students to participate in similar activities as early on in their education as possible.”
Pete Nelson is one of nine students chosen for the Trellis Fund. The others were from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, the University of Florida, and the University of California, Davis. Nelson is co-advised by Drs. Clyde Sorenson and Hannah Burrack. He completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees at Michigan State University, both in Entomology.
Above: Tomato farmer interview after touring the farm located near Embu, Kenya.
Left: Tuta absoluta awareness and management presentation to tomato farmers near Embu, Kenya. Right: Potato farmer interview after Potato cyst nematode presentation in Naivasha, Kenya.
Global Engagement Exposition- April 2017
Dr. Edward L. Kick- Jackson Rigney International Service Award
NC State recently held the Global Engagement Exposition which is an opportunity to highlight the international efforts of the University and recognize individuals who have made significant advances towards internationalization of the University’s impacts.
Some faculty members from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences were recognized as award nominees and winners on April, 18th. Dr. Edward Kick from the department of agriculture and resource economics was recognized as a Jackson Rigney International Service Award recipient. This award recognizes the distinguished contributions made by a faculty or staff member for the promotion of international understanding and service to the university and international community over the span of their career.
The second award CALS faculty were nominated for is the Outstanding Global Engagement Award, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in globally engaged teaching, research, extension, engagement, and/or economic development. Dr. Sung Woo Kim, from the Department of Animal Science, and Dr. Edgar Oviedo, Department of Poultry Science, were both nominated for this prestigious award.
Dr. Edgar Oviedo was selected as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Global Engagement award out of 15 nominees due to his extensive work in poultry production extension. Dr. Oviedo developed a world-renowned extension and applied research program that has benefited poultry production across North Carolina and globally. His work has helped make meat safer and more affordable for people in 67 countries.
EUCARPIA VI Career Award (Europe) - January 2017
Dr. Todd Wehner, of the Horticulture Department, has received a career award from the European plant breeding organization EUCARPIA VI. He received the award at an international meeting of the organization in Warsaw, Poland. Dr. Wehner is the leader of a cucumber and watermelon breeding project at NC State, has previously served as the Assistant Department Head, and teaches a number of courses on plant breeding and vegetable production. His research objectives are to provide industry with new traits for the development of improved cultivars, research information, and graduate students who can run field plant breeding programs.
Outstanding International Horticulturalist Award (U.S.) - August 2016
The American Society for Horticultural Science has chosen Dr. Julia Kornegay as the recipeint of this year's Outstanding International Horticulturalist Award. "Recognizing distinguished contributions in horticultural science for 10 or more years" the award honors her international career in horticulture. Her contributions in the field internationally are numerous and several of which have helped to mitigate agricultural disasters in areas in conflict.
Excellence in International Service Award (U.S.) - August 2016
Dr. Jean Ristaino received the American Phytopathological Society's (APS) annual Excellence in International Service Award for 2016. The award honors the contributions of an APS member to countries other than their own. Ristaino's contributions span multiple countries including China, Costa Rica, Honduras, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, and Uganda.
Jackson Rigney International Service Award (U.S.) - April 20, 2016
The Committee on International Programs has selected Dr. Rick Brandenburg as the recipient of the Jackson Rigney International Service Award. The award recognizes "the contributions a faculty member has made throughout their careers through international service towards the university and international community, as well as their work towards increasing international understanding."
Outstanding Global Engagement Award (U.S) - April 20, 2016
Dr. Craig Yencho was among the three recipients of this year's Outstanding Global Engagement Award. Recipients are selected by the International Operations Coucil and are recognized for "outstanding accomplishment in globally engaged teaching, research, extension, and/or engagement and economic development."
Outstanding Global Engagement Award (U.S) - April 20, 2016
Dr. John Brake was among the three recipients of this year's Outstanding Global Engagement Award. Recipients are selected by the International Operations Coucil and are recognized for "outstanding accomplishment in globally engaged teaching, research, extension, and/or engagement and economic development."
Gairdner International Award (Canada) - March 23, 2016
In March 2016 Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou was awarded the Canada Gairdner International Award for his research involving CRISPR-Cas immune systems in bacteria. The Gairdner International Award is given annually to five biomedical scientists who have made original contributions to the field of medicine through increasing the understanding of the human body and disease. Barrangou is receiving the award alongside his collaborator in CRISPR research and senior scientist at Dupont, Phillipe Horvath. They will receive the award formally at a ceremony in Toronto on October 27, 2016.
Warren Alpert Award (U.S.) - March 9, 2016
Barrangou and his collaborator Horvath also make up two of the five recipienents of this year's Warren Alpert Award. The Warren Alpert Award honors "the world’s most foremost scientists, physicians, and researchers for their breakthroughs in bio-medicine." The awardees are being recognized for "remarkable contributions to the understanding of the CRISPR bacterial defense system and the revolutionary discovery that it can be adapted for genome editing." The award will be formally presented at Harvard Medical School's Joseph B.Martin Conference Center on October 6, 2016.